Martin, Lance, Oprah, Paul & Me

As our nation celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. today, I am reminded of something he once said:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

Over the last week we have watched the sudden free fall of Lance Armstong. Once thought of as a great, American hero; he has now confessed to Oprah that nearly all of his athletic accomplishments were a big lie. He cheated. As sad as that is – what really struck me is how many prominent people have said that they could never forgive Lance and hope that others feel the same way.


Believe or not, this happens to someone we know every single day. They may not have the accolades and celebrity that Lance Armstrong has, but ALL of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Chances are that someone in your small group disappointed their spouse this week.
Chances are someone in your small group lied to someone they love this week.
Chances are someone in your small group turned their back on a friend in need this week.
Chances are you have let God down – very recently.

I know that I have. Paul did too:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 

1 Timothy 1:15-16

Who is that person in your life that needs the gift of forgiveness today? I am choosing to go ahead and forgive Lance Armstrong, but that’s easy. He didn’t hurt me directly. I barely knew that cycling was a sport.

I am asking today that God will search my heart and allow me to know the true power to love.


About Chris Surratt

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over twenty-three years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also the Discipleship and Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. Chris's first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson.

Posted on January 21, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dead on. That passage from 1 Tim can do powerful work on a self righteous heart. As we sit under the waterfall of God’s grace how can we not forgive others? The gospel shines brightly in a world of broken people telling others that they are broken.

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